Boston Private, activist investor spar over pending SVB merger

By Jim Dobbs9 days ago

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Boston Private Financial Holdings and an activist investor sharpened their pitches to shareholders in advance of a meeting to vote on the companys pending sale to SVB Financial Group in Santa Clara, Calif.

HoldCo Asset Management, which owns 4.9% of the $9.7 billion-asset Boston Privates stock, wants shareholders to reject the $900 million merger at the April 27 meeting, based on a belief that the price is too low.

The investor, in a Wednesday presentation to other shareholders, argued that Boston Private did not give enough consideration to other potential buyers, adding that the board should have conducted an auction process.

Rejecting the merger would pave the way for a competitive and comprehensive sales process supervised by a stronger, independent board,“ HoldCo said. The company is looking to replace three directors with its own nominees.

Boston Private noted in a proxy statement that, while there was no auction, no other company that expressed interest in a deal submitted an offer that exceeded the price SVB agreed to pay. SVBs offer represented a 120% premium to Boston Privates tangible book value when the deal was announced on Jan. 4.

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